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Thursday March 8, 2001

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8th-grader apprehended after shooting classmate at Pa. school

By The Associated Press

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - A 14-year-old girl shot a fellow eighth-grader in the cafeteria of a Roman Catholic school yesterday before being subdued by a school administrator, officials said.

The shooting happened around noon during lunch at Bishop Neumann Junior-Senior High School and followed a long-standing argument between the shooter and 13-year-old victim, police said.

"This is a situation of a student who was upset with another student," police Officer David Ritter said. "This is not a random act of violence, and as far as I understand there are no other targets for this violence."

Kimberly Marchese was shot in the right shoulder and was in stable condition at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, authorities said.

The shooting suspect was in police custody within four minutes, Ritter said.

"It is my understanding that an administrator got the gun away from the girl and that she is in custody," said Maria Orzel, a spokeswoman for the Diocese of Scranton.

The suspect was being questioned and was to be taken to a juvenile facility, authorities said. Police said they did not know where the girl got the gun.

Authorities said they would need to petition the court in order to charge her as an adult. They would not say whether they planned to do so.

After the shooting, all students at school were taken to the auditorium, where they were patted down by police in a search for weapons, Lycoming County District Attorney Thomas Marino said. Students were later taken to a nearby school where they were questioned, he said.

Marchese was originally taken to Williamsport Hospital, but she was later airlifted to Geisinger, 90 miles away.

The school has about 230 students in grades 7 through 12. Williamsport, home to the Little League World Series, is in central Pennsylvania, about 160 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

The violence came two days after two people were killed and 13 wounded in a high school shooting in Santee, Calif. A ninth-grader has been arrested.



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